New Testament Epistle Readings  (Select one)

(NT-1) The Love of Christ
(Romans 8:31b-35, 37-39)


A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Romans:

With God on our side who can be against us?

Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No!! He not only died for us — he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us. Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us. For I am certain of this; neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-2)  The Life of a Christian

Short Version: Romans 12:1-2, 9-13

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans:

Think of God's mercy, my brothers and sisters, and worship him, I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modeled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do. Do not let your love be a pretense, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as much as siblings should and have a profound respect for each other. Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with earnestness of spirit. If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying. If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.

The word of the Lord.

Long Version: Romans 12:1-2, 9-18

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans:

Think of God's mercy, by brothers and sisters, and worship him, I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modeled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do. Do not let your love be a pretense, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as much as brothers should and have a profound respect for each other. Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with earnestness of spirit.

If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying. If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care. Bless those who persecute you; never curse them, bless them. Rejoice with those who rejoice and be sad with those in sorrow. Treat everyone with equal kindness; never be condescending but make real friends with the poor. Do not allow yourself to become self-satisfied. Never repay evil with evil but let everyone see you are interested only in the highest ideals. Do all you can to live at peace with everyone.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-3) Your Members are Temples of the Holy Spirit
(I Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20)


A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

The body — is not meant for fornication; it is for the Lord, and the Lord for the Body. God, who raised the Lord from the dead, will by his power raise us up too. You know, surely, that your bodies are members making up the body of Christ. But anyone who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property; you have been brought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-4) The Greatest of These is Love
(1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a)


A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and know everything and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but am without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

Love does not come to an end.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-5s) The Mystery of Marriage
A. Short Version (Ephesians 5:2a, 25-32)

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians:

Follow Christ by loving as he loved you. Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole family, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything.

Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless.

A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body — and we are his living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-5L) Long Version: (Ephesians 5:2a, 21-33)

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians:

Follow Christ by loving as he loved you. Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole family, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything.

Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless.

A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body - and we are his living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.  To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-6) Live in Love and Thanksgiving
(Colossians 3:12-17)


A reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians:

You are God's chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord as forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-7) Peace and Harmony in the Family
(1 Peter 3:1-9)


A reading from the first letter of Peter:

Wives should be obedient to their husbands. Then, if there are some husbands who have not yet obeyed the word, they may find themselves won over, without a word spoken, by the way their wives behave, when they see how faithful and conscientious they are. Do not dress up for show; doing up your hair, wearing gold bracelets and fine clothes; all this should be inside, in a person's heart, imperishable; the ornament — this is what is precious in the sight of God. That was how the holy women of the past dressed themselves attractively — they hoped in God and were tender and obedient to their husbands; like Sarah, who was obedient to Abraham, and called him her lord. You are now her children, as long as you live good lives and do not give way to fear and worry. In the same way, husbands must treat their wives with consideration in their life together, respecting a woman as one who, though she may be the weaker partner, is equally an heir to the life of grace. This will stop anything from coming in the way of your prayers.

Finally: you should all agree among yourselves and be sympathetic; love the brothers, have compassion and be self-effacing. Never pay back one wrong with another, or an angry word with another one; instead, pay back with a blessing. That is what you are called to do, so that you inherit a blessing yourself.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-8) Love, Real and Active
(1 John 3:18-24)


A reading from the first letter of John:

My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of truth and be able to quiet our conscience in his presence, whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.

My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God's presence, and whatever we ask him, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments and live the kind of life that he wants. His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another as he told us to. Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him. We know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-9) God is Love
(I John 4::7-12)


A reading from the first letter of John:

My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love. God's love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God's love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another. No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us.

The word of the Lord.

(NT-10) Marriage of the Lamb
(Revelation 19:1, 5-9a)


A reading from the book of Revelation:

"I, John, seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, 'Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God!'" Then a voice came from the throne; it said, "Praise our God, you servants of his and all who, great or small, revere him." And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, "Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. "His bride is ready, and she has been able to free herself in dazzling white linen, because linen is made of the good deeds of the saints." The angel said, "Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb."

The word of the Lord.

 

(NT-11) Rejoice in the Lord

​(Phillipians 4: 4-9)

​A reading from the letter of Paul to the Phillipians  

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.   Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.   And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

This is the Word of the Lord

(N-12) Let marriage be held in honor by all

(Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b)

A reading from the Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews

 

Brothers and sisters:
Let mutual love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled.
Let your life be free from love of money
but be content with what you have,
for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.

Thus we may say with confidence:
The Lord is my helper,
and I will not be afraid.

The word of the Lord